The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a man accused of severely beating a pregnant woman for several days, possibly causing an early birth, and leading deputies on a pursuit late Saturday near Presbyterian Santa Fe Medical Center after he dropped her off at the hospital.
Eduardo Romero, 43, of Santa Fe is facing two first-degree felony counts of kidnapping; a count of injury to a pregnant woman; and charges of aggravated assault and battery after a Presbyterian patient told a nurse she had been beaten and held against her will by the man between March 6 and Wednesday, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday in Santa Fe County Magistrate Court.
He also is charged with aggravated fleeing from a law enforcement officer, possession of a controlled substance, improper display of a registration plate and driving with a suspended license.
The complaint says deputies arrived at the hospital around 10:30 p.m. Saturday.
The patient had bruises covering her entire face, neck and body, the complaint said. Medical staff told deputies she also likely had a fractured forearm and bruised ribs.
On Sunday, the nurse told deputies the woman had given birth to her baby that day, at just 36 weeks, possibly due to her injuries. The nurse also said the woman was malnourished and likely hadn’t had anything substantial to eat or drink in about five days.
“In 15 years of being a nurse, I have never seen someone with bruises like that on them,” the nurse said, according to the complaint.
Court documents said Romero is suspected of assaulting the woman in a home they shared on C De Baca Lane in the midtown area. Deputies believe the alleged attacks began March 6, when Romero is accused of grabbing the woman by the hair and throwing her on the ground and then kicking, punching and choking her for over an hour. Romero also threatened to shoot the woman, according to the criminal complaint, and told her she could not leave the property until her injuries healed.
On Wednesday, the complaint says the woman was able to escape the home and go to a family member’s house. However, Romero arrived a day or two later, pushed her into his car and took her back to the C De Baca Lane home, she told deputies.
She then began to go into labor, the complaint said, and was able to convince Romero to take her to the hospital Saturday night.
While she was being examined at the hospital, a security guard reported Romero was driving erratically in the parking lot in a black Honda sedan, according to the complaint. The security guard spoke with Romero and saw Budweiser beer cans in the backseat, the complaint said, and believed Romero was drunk.
A deputy arrived and tried to stop Romero, prompting a pursuit. The complaint said Romero ran through red lights in the city at speeds as high as 90 mph before stopping in front of 1618 C De Baca Lane.
He then ran away, a report said, jumping a fence and a wall, but deputies found him hiding on the roof of a building on nearby Hopewell Street. A plastic bag filled with what deputies believed was crack cocaine was found in his sock, the report said.
Romero was booked in the Santa Fe County jail.
He has had multiple run-ins with law enforcement in the past, court records show, including charges ranging from aggravated assault on a police officer and burglary to drug-related charges.